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Columbia College Chicago


Definition of Style

Like rhythm and blues, salsa is a somewhat generic term describing a wide range of Latino dance music. Coined in the mid-1960s to describe the music emerging in the Latin clubs of New York, San Juan, and Los Angeles, salsa refers to high-energy dance music built around the clave, a familiar rhythmic figure in duple time that forms the core of modern and contemporary Latin music.

Introductory Bibliography

Boggs, Vernon. Salsiology. New York: Excelsior, 1992. A history of the explosion of salsa in New York.

Figueroa, Rafael. Salsa and Related Genres. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1992. A bibliographical guide arranged by topics.

Gerard, Charley, with Marty Sheller. Salsa: The Rhythm of Latin Music. Crown Point, Ind.: White Cliffs, 1989. Analysis of the musical patterns of salsa and other genres.

Selected Discography

Colón, Willie. The Good-The Bad-The Ugly (Fania 484)

Blades, Rubén. Buscando América (Elektra 60352)

Fania 1964-1994: 30 Great Years (Fania JM 702 and 703) Two double-CD sets

Salsa clásica (Music Club 50118)